How to Start a Home Spy Business

Eye Spy image by Deb the Shoe from Fotolia.com

As surveillance technology keeps advancing to become more and more reliable and discreet, an ever increasing number of businesses and private individuals are becoming interested in purchasing things like security cameras, computer monitoring software, and protection equipment for their homes and offices. These potential customers have a diverse array of concerns; some suspect their spouses of infidelity, some are interested in covertly observing their nannies, some are concerned about employee theft, and others just want to know how their employees spend their days at work. Whatever the reason, surveillance equipment is currently in high demand. Consider meeting this demand with a home spy business of your own.

Get a job with a company that installs home security systems. In order to start a business selling home spy equipment, you need to understand how this equipment works. You can gain valuable experience working with someone who has experience in the home security business. This person can also become a valuable contact once you start your spy equipment business, referring customers to you and possibly working with you installing the equipment you sell. This job experience will also give you an opportunity to learn about your customer base.

Decide whether you want to sell your spy equipment online, in a storefront location, or both. Starting an online business is considerably more simple than opening a storefront. An online business has lower overhead costs and potentially can market to customers around the world, whereas a storefront has a limited customer base.

Decide whether you want to deal in general security and surveillance equipment, or whether you want to specialize in a particular type of equipment. You can run a shop that offers a vast selection of spy equipment, or you can focus on selling equipment designed especially for a specific purpose, such as voice recording or computer monitoring. If you want a general store, you will have to familiarize yourself with the general categories of equipment on the market, whereas if you run a specialty shop you will have to become an expert on the differences between specific manufacturers of the same item.

Familiarize yourself with laws regarding the buying and selling of security and surveillance equipment. Not every item that you may be interested in carrying is legal to buy or sell in every state. If you have an online shop, you will need to learn whether your item is legal to sell in every state you do business with, as well as whether your item can be shipped by regular post.

Obtain a business license. even if you have an online shop, you need a business license and tax payer identification number.

Develop relationships with vendors. If you are selling your spy equipment at retail cost, you will have to find manufacturers to buy it from. Once you decide what equipment you want your store to carry, contact the manufacturers to learn about how you can become a distributor. In some instances, you will have to purchase your equipment from a distributor. If this is the case, you will need to contact a number of distributors to find out who can give you the best prices.

Get a professional to design your website. If you are selling merchandise over the internet, your customers need to trust you. A professionally designed website looks far more polished and legitimate than one you put together yourself, and this will make your customers feel more comfortable entering their credit card information into your site.

Market your shop. Write letters of introduction and distribute business cards to security installation businesses. Learn what the most important trade and hobbyist publications in the security and surveillance field are and pay to run advertisements in them. Join internet forums related to your field and market your website there. Once you get your business off the ground, it may pay to hire a marketing consultant to help you market your website more effectively.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Hannigan began writing freelance articles in 2005. Her work can be found in "Orientations" magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in art history from the University of Delaware.

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